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Year: 2002
USA: Sundance Channel
UK: ICA Projects
Cast: Jamal Udin Torabi, Enayatullah, Imran Paracha, Hiddayatullah, Jamau, Wakeel Khan, Lal Zarin, Ahsan Raza, Mirwais Torabi, Abdul Ahmad, Amanullah Torabi, Ramzan Ali, Chaman Ali, Rasheed, Allah Bauhsh, Hossain Baghaeian, Yaaghoob Nosraj Poor, Ghodrat Poor, Mehdi Poor, Ahmad Azami, Yusef Azami, Mr Eghdame, Mr Dehghame, Mr Yusuf, Bayram Arjangi, Jaffa Eghbali, Kerem Atabeyoglu, Erham Sekizcan, Nabil Elouhabi, Paul Popplewell
Director: Michael Winterbottom
Country: UK
Languages: Pashtu / Farsi (English subtitles)
UK: 90 mins
USA Rated: R for brief strong language
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language
USA Release Date: 19 September 2003 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 28 March 2003


Shot by acclaimed director Michael Winterbottom (WELCOME TO SARAJEVO, 24 HOUR PARTY PEOPLE) and already something of a phenomenon, this feature follows the story of Afghani cousins Jamal and Enayatullah who live in the Pakistani city of Peshawar on the border of Afghanistan. In search of a better life the pair join the ranks of the one million refugees per year who place their lives in the hands of the people smugglers in order to reach Europe. Their journey is over land, and their route takes them from Pakistan into Iran, across Tehran and up into the mountainous Kurdish region of the country, then through Turkey.

From Istanbul, Jamal and Enayatullah embark on the most gruelling stretch of their journey - forty hours sealed in a freight container bound for Italy, with many other desperate people. Many of the refugees suffocate in their metal cell - of the two cousins, only Jamal reaches Trieste alive. He travels across Europe living on his wits and luck, to the refugee camp at Sangatte, France. The last leg of his epic journey comprises of stowing away on a lorry bound for the Eurostar. This journey is a distillation of the experiences of a multitude of real life asylum seekers and migrants - courageous and resourceful people seeking a better life, whose stories so often end in tragedy. This human look at the complexity of the immigrant experience could not come at a more opportune time.

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